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Single-molecule studies reveal the function of a third polymerase in the replisome.

Georgescu R.E., Kurth I., O'Donnell M.E.

The Escherichia coli replisome contains three polymerases, one more than necessary to duplicate the two parental strands. Using single-molecule studies, we reveal two advantages conferred by the third polymerase. First, dipolymerase replisomes are inefficient at synthesizing lagging strands, leaving single-strand gaps, whereas tripolymerase replisomes fill strands almost to completion. Second, tripolymerase replisomes are much more processive than dipolymerase replisomes. These features account for the unexpected three-polymerase-structure of bacterial replisomes.

Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 19:113-116(2011) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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